My Perspective Five Days After Hurricane Ida

For those wanting to help the victims of Hurricane Ida, click here.

Today, it’s five days after Hurricane Ida, and I am compelled to offer up some stark differences between the outcome of this storm and the storm exactly sixteen years ago.

Five days after Hurricane Katrina exposed design flaws in the New Orleans levees, these were the conditions:

  • Between 12,000 and 15,000 survivors were at the Superdome and the Convention Center.
  • The astrodome in Houston was filled to bursting with evacuees.
  • Untold numbers of people were still waiting on their rooftops.
  • Families were torn apart and remain so for months, even years.
  • News anchor Garland Robinette raged at the indignities.
  • Mayor Ray Nagin went on WWLAM radio and said “Don’t tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They’re not here!”
  • Flabbergasting horrible rumors were swirling in a city completely cut off from the rest of the world due to FEMA’s errors.
  • 40,000 – 50,000 families needed to find a place for their kids to go to school.
  • 1,000 troops finally arrived under the direction of Lt. Gen Russel Honore

These were the condition five days after H. Katrina’s surge triggered failures in poorly designed levees.

In contrast, a top story today, five days after H. Ida on WWLTV is that “historic oak trees at the Oak Alley Plantation in St. James parish are damaged.” I love Louisiana live oaks as much as the next person. But this very well illustrates the stark difference between the two August 29th events sixteen years apart.

We know now that as many as nine souls lost their lives during H. Ida. In contrast, sixteen years ago, it would be many months before the death count could even begin to be verified, a number of over 1,500.

My heart goes out to all those affected by Hurricane Ida and the resulting power outage in Louisiana. This is a disaster.

Hurricane Katrina and the exposed design flaws in the New Orleans outfall canal levees was a bona fide catastrophe.

For those wanting to help the victims of Hurricane Ida, click here.

Sandy Rosenthal, founder of Levees.org
Author, Words Whispered in Water (Mango, 2020)

One response to “My Perspective Five Days After Hurricane Ida”

  1. Mary David says:

    I read your book, Mrs. Rosenthal. I admire your bravery taking on the Feds (Army Corps). My heart was filled with sadness on 08/29/2005. I wanted to so badly volunteer and I couldn’t because of my job. However, I made donations to help. I experienced going through flooding in June 2001. At the time, I lived in Houston. Tropical Storm Alison dumped 40+ inches of rain. I was lucky that I lost a car. Others were not so lucky. I had a bottom apartment. If I ever live in another apartment, it will be on the 2nd and above floors.

    I’m retired now. I guess you could say semi retired.

    I’m a frequent visitor to NOLA because of part time work. I love NOLA. I love the Cajun Seafood which is hard to find currently where I live.

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